It is a no-brainer that Migraine is a headache, but how would you differentiate your migraine from the other types of headache?.
If the headache is only on one side of the head, then it is more likely a migraine.
Another important aspect is that, Migraine usually gives many early warning signals such as tingling in the arms and legs, flashes of light, blind spots, nausea, vomiting often with increased sensitivity to light and sound, before manifesting into full blown headache.
Once it is established that it is a migraine, then it is easy to find remedies.
What Causes Migraines?
In the simplest of explanation we can say that, It is caused by artery enlargement over the skull skin near the temples. A chemical is released due to artery enlargement which causes pain, inflammation and further enlargement of the artery. In more technical terms it is a neurological disorder involving both neurological and vascular changes that gives rise to the pain encountering specific triggers. These triggers can be different fro different people.
The triggers that cause migraine are many including allergies and allergic reactions, physical or emotional stress, changes in sleep patterns, smoking or exposure to smoking, fasting, alcohol, bright lights, loud noises, certain types of perfumes, tension headaches, foods containing tyramine, chocolates, nuts, peanut butter, avocado and numerous other items.
Symptoms of migraine may include moderate to severe pain on one side of the head, nausea, vomiting and even diarrhea and increased sensitivity to light sound and odors. Migraine pain is excruciating and can last from anywhere between 1 hour to 72 hours.
Managing Headache Relief in Migraine - Precautions and Remedies
The pain sometimes is so severe that you would like to do anything that can get you out of the migraine headache. In fact you can do a lot to reduce and even prevent it, if you closely monitor the early warning signs.
You can look into pain relief in two different phases. One is managing the triggers and the other is actually using simple remedies.
Manage the Triggers
if you get migraines frequently, then you should write a diary of migraine occurrences to identify patterns. Once you identify pattern, it becomes easy to avoid or deal with them
- Alcohol - If you have hangover after alcohol consumption, then that is a sign that you are likely to get migraine in about 8 hours. If your diary sees this patter, then avoid alcohol. You may not need to completely give up alcohol. Certain alcohol drinks give migraines and others don't, so check it out based on your own findings.
- Caffeine - This is another one, you need to monitor. You might think that caffeine is helping you in headache relief. Think again. Once again check your diary for patterns.
- Hunger - If you have missed meals and feeling headache, eat something. This is simple. Some people can skip meals without any trouble, but many of us can get migraines.
- Sleep disruptions - Not having enough sleep,or sleeping too much both are sleep disruptions for the body which requires sufficient rest to recharge. Each one of us have different thresholds to handle sleep deprivation. Find out your patterns and correct it.
- Light or Sound Exposure - Check this out if flashes of lights or heavy sounds cause you migraine.
- Menstruation - If you are a woman, then this is an additional cause for migraines. The estrogen levels before menstruation go down steeply, causing migraine.
In addition to these patterns, some people are genetically predisposed to have migraine. So if your parents or any people in your genealogy suffer from migraine, you are likely to suffer to.
Once you have identified the triggers, then you can consider one or more of the following home remedies to get relief from migraine.
1. Ice Wrap
Use a Ice wrap around the head or in the neck to quickly get rid of the migraine headache. The improved blood flow as a result of the ice wrap reduces the pain and the sufferer feels immediate migraine headache relief
If you don’t have ice wrap then you can use to keep a folded frozen towel around your head. It will give the same impact in getting rid of migraine headache. Keep it for 5 minutes and replace it by another frozen towel. You can keep it as long as you feel like and you get relief.
Use yoga, meditation or tai chi, whatever suites you for relaxing. These relaxing techniques work both your mind and body to fix that neural and vascular network that goes awry during migraine.
You can use a relaxing massage, which takes away your attention from the head to the relaxed body. Inshort any relaxation technique that suites you will reduce the pain.
Turnoff all electrical lights and other sources of lights such as doors and windows. Make the room completely dark and then put a sleeping eye mask and relax. If required, you can use ice pack instead of the sleeping eye mask. The key is in the dark calm ambiance.
In addition to these, if you make some lifestyle changes that develops new habits such as exercise, getting adequate sleep every night, and healthy eating, then you will reduce the future occurrences of migraines. Many people have found migraine headache relief by starting rigorous exercises.